Children with kidney disorders need expert care from many specialists who work together to prevent complications, disease progression, and kidney failure. Receiving care from a team of experts is vital, as children with kidney disease may also have medical conditions involving the heart, liver, lung, or brain. For this reason, Duke pediatric nephrologists work closely with other Duke pediatric specialists to ensure your child receives optimal care in a friendly and collaborative environment.
About Kidney Disease in Children
A Range of Kidney Conditions
There are many different types of kidney disease that affect children. Some are temporary and treatable. Other forms of kidney disease are long-lasting and may affect your child’s growth, development, and psychosocial/educational achievement. The range of kidney diseases includes:
- Congenital abnormalities or birth defects, such as having a kidney that is not well-formed, a single kidney, a kidney with reduced function, or a kidney that is not draining properly into the bladder
- Polycystic kidney disease and Alport's syndrome, examples of hereditary kidney diseases, which means they run in families
- Lupus, vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), uncontrolled hypertension, and diabetes, which are considered systemic kidney diseases
- Kidney filtering disorders and nephrotic syndrome, conditions that cause protein to leak into the urine
Diagnosing Your Child's Kidney Disease Is Our First Priority
Understanding the cause of your child’s kidney disease and starting prompt treatment to slow the progression of kidney disease and the decline in kidney function is our first priority.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
We use urine and blood tests, as well as advanced imaging, to assess your child’s kidney disease and make treatment recommendations.
Renal Nuclear Scan
This imaging scan helps us understand how well your child’s kidneys work and identify the cause of reduced kidney function.
This type of X-ray allows doctors to view your child’s kidneys and bladder to look for a blockage or backflow of urine to the kidney.
In some cases, a small piece of tissue is obtained from the kidney to determine the extent of your child's kidney disease and to guide the appropriate treatment recommendation.
Why Choose Duke
Collaboration with Pediatric Specialists
Our pediatric nephrologists work closely with other Duke pediatric specialists -- including pediatric urologists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologists, and other experts -- to manage your child’s kidney disease and related conditions.
Ongoing Research Advances
Our ongoing research includes studies to determine why some children develop kidney disease while others do not, and why certain children rapidly progress to kidney failure despite treatment. We are also testing new therapies and trying to gain a better understanding of the genetics of diseases such as nephrotic syndrome. We are constantly incorporating new insights and treatment advances into the care your child receives.
Nationally Recognized Pediatric Kidney Specialists
Our doctors are frequently invited to speak at national and international conferences. We also train tomorrow’s kidney specialists at Duke University School of Medicine and write articles for medical journals and chapters for medical school textbooks.
If Your Child Needs a Kidney Transplant
If your child has end-stage kidney failure and needs a kidney transplant, you can feel confident in our expertise. Our experienced pediatric kidney transplant team performs successful transplants in children using kidneys from deceased and living donors and provides your child with innovative, personalized transplant care.